Hunter’s Arena Legends Early Access Impressions

Hunter's Arena Legends Early Access

Welcome to Hunter’s Arena: Legends, a game where you can play as a big guy wearing a spandex suit and go clubbing on other player’s heads. That’s one of the offbeat skins for this upcoming battle royale game from Mantisco, which enters Early Access on July 15. You may remember that we have tried out this game in the past, and were sponsored to participate in this stress test to see how it has improved in the last few months. You can add Hunter’s Arena: Legends to your Steam Wishlist right now using the link in the video description, so go ahead, I’ll wait.

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Back already? Great! Hunter’s Arena: Legends is looking mighty solid, a stunning action game with RPG elements and additional game modes in development so that it won’t be limited to the battle royale gameplay. There’s a tag match already playable, but the plan is to bring a realm versus realm mode, and more in the future.

Before examining the game further, a word of warning: Hunter’s Arena: Legends is a gorgeous game. The semi-realistic environments blend nicely with the fantasy roster, and it looks superb. So much so that I had to turn down the texture quality a notch because the recordings were stuttering a bit. No worries though, the game played smoothly when I wasn’t recording, with nearly everything pushed to the max. Besides textures and shadows, which make the game look amazing but may put a strain in some configurations, there’s hair physics as well. Enable this option and you’ll see some impressive hair and fur movement, it is definitely worth checking out, especially on the panda and the female hunters. Mantisco is currently working to fix occasional dropped frames and improve loading times, so things are bound to get better.

So, jaws will drop, but what else is in store? Well, to start on the right foot, there are some crazy dance moves. You know, emotes created with some silly motion capture – you just need to see the devs dancing like madmen during the making of these moves. This is one of the ways for you to entertain yourself in the lobby, right before the gates open, and up to 60 players start running like hell, trying to get away from their enemies as the battle begins.

There are 12 characters to choose from, each one soaking in its own pool of inspirations. There are mystical types, oriental warriors, and one dubbed as the drunken leopard – veteran gamers will fondly remember Virtua Fighter’s drunken master. There’s also a huge panda because reasons, a couple of female fighters who obviously wear revealing clothes, and then there’s Dara, a young girl that wasn’t born, she was created and isn’t quite sure if she’s a human or a monster. She floats and soars everywhere, and is already a fan-favorite, it seems. Most of the roster employs melee attacks, but there are two hunters who prefer long-range combat.

Hunter's Arena Legends Early Access Impressions

The crazy starting run can be a remarkable moment. As the trumpets sound and the gates open, every player sprints in an attempt to get as far as possible from the hub city, incidentally the place where every match ends as well. Those who have leveled up enough can purchase a horse, but there are wild horses around as well, up for the taking. There are some funny equestrian moments to be found, since you can accidentally or intentionally be run over by a horse, or even kicked if you get too close. A great tactic and an original twist to pick up speed is by following other player’s wind stream, just like you usually see in racing games. This means that you can catch up to a fleeing player if he isn’t clever enough to lose you.

I have found combat to be quite different from other battle royale games. Luckily, a tutorial was recently added so that you can get to grips with guard, counter, stun, dodging, and various skills. It is described as a high risk/high reward combat system and rightfully so, because you must risk leaving your guard open while going for the massive damage attacks. There are other twists for you to try, such as ambushing enemies by hiding in bushes, or attacking from above by jumping off a cliff. It takes some getting used to, but there are many combos and options for you to explore. A killcam and replay feature is in the works so that you can pay close attention to your killer and create your very own Death Note notebook.

Thousands of monsters await you on the battlefield, perfect fodder to level up your hunter and unlock advanced skills. The more capable that you get, the better you’ll be when you decide to take on over 20 world bosses and 20 dungeons. These provide tougher challenges, but the loot is way more exciting than the one dropping from your regular mobs. Obviously, it’s dangerous to explore these places because you’re likely to stumble upon rival hunters striving for the same rewards.

A neat RPG progression system ties up the whole thing. You earn experience in each match, which will get you mastery points as you climb levels. Use these points to evolve your build via different skill paths, increasing attack power, health points, monster kill XP, and other things.

The battle royale mode comes in solo and trio flavors, but there’s a tag match mode if you prefer a mano a mano confrontation. This is pretty much a fighting game mode, something that fans of Tekken might enjoy.

Hunter’s Arena: Legends is a robust take on the battle royale genre, adding some clever twists to stand out from the competition. The fact that it looks amazing doesn’t hurt either. A Hunter’s Arena: Legends Early Access package will be up for sale, including all 12 characters, but before that, go ahead and wishlist the game on Steam right now.

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